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Our Impact

National Brain Tumor Society has funded more than $38 million in brain tumor research grants and awards to hundreds of researchers at various leading institutes in the U.S. and globally in order to find better treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

Your support has also enabled nonpartisan advocacy efforts that improved public policies to benefit patients with a brain tumor and increase research budgets.

Thank you for your generous past donations. You’ve had a tangible impact on the research needed to find treatments for brain tumors while giving the brain tumor community a voice in our nation’s capital.

Your Dollars in Action

  • Funded the discovery that specialized, circular bunches of DNA can be found in high levels in glioblastoma tumor cells. These pieces of “extrachromosomal DNA” are believed to be major contributors to tumor growth and treatment resistance. This discovery has the potential to significantly change the way we treat glioblastoma, based on where cancer-fueling genes are located.
  • Helped fund the discoveries related to EGFR mutations, which are the most common mutations found in glioblastoma and represent a key focus for how new research and treatments can be constructed.
  • Funded the discovery of the 1p/19q co-deletion, which is the key characteristic for identifying and diagnosing oligodendroglioma.
  • Funded research that discovered an innovative approach to deliver, through nanoparticles, a DNA damage repair inhibitor drug into the cerebrospinal fluid of a medulloblastoma mouse model. Delivering the drug through this state-of-the-art technique led to tumor regression in the laboratory models and represents a potential promising new treatment strategy for medulloblastoma patients.
  • Funded research helping to advance the field of “liquid biopsy” techniques in brain cancer to use DNA extracted from a patients’ cerebrospinal fluid during routine lumbar punctures as a less-invasive means to diagnose, monitor, and tailor treatment plans for glioblastoma and other tumor types.
  • Funded the discovery that giving a type of immunotherapy called “checkpoint inhibitors” to patients prior to surgery and standard of care treatments could help these promising therapies, which are revolutionizing the treatment of many other cancers, work in brain cancers like glioblastoma. 
  • Funded research that is helping identify risk factors for glioma brain tumors (oligodendroglioma, astrocytoma, glioblastoma, e.g.), especially hereditary factors that could give rise to gliomas in families.

Funding for Research 

  • Created the brain tumor community’s only annual advocacy day on Capitol Hill to directly ask members of Congress to support policies that benefit brain tumor research, care, and access. Launched in 2011, Head to the Hill now unites more than 300 volunteer advocates from virtually every state in the U.S. to rally together in the nation’s capital. 
  • Helped increase annual federal funding for brain cancer research by more than 60% since 2011. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – the largest funders of brain tumor research in the world – funded $280 million in brain cancer research. Our sustained advocacy efforts to increase NIH funding, and brain tumor funding specifically, has led to the agency now estimating it will fund $456 million in brain cancer research in FY 2024. 
  • Successfully lobbied to make pediatric brain tumors an eligible topic for funding in the Department of Defense’s Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) in 2016, after the category had been removed in 2015. Each year since, NBTS has continued to ensure that pediatric brain tumors remain an eligible topic, as well as, beginning in 2017, all brain cancer research categories. NBTS-led advocacy has also helped more than double congressional funding for the PRCRP from $50 million in 2016 to $130 million in 2023. Importantly, the number of grants issued to pediatric brain tumor and all brain cancer projects combined has also risen exponentially from $3.75 million in 2016 to $26.8 million in 2023, as NBTS continues to educate the brain tumor research community on the availability of these grants, urges applications, and provides tips on how to successfully apply. Finally, NBTS has provided volunteer advocates with the opportunity to serve as review panelists for PRCRP’s grant making process, ensuring the patient voice is heard in the research process.

Leading New Government Initiatives & Legislation

Raising the Profile of Brain Tumors

  • Championed the creation of a National “Glioblastoma Awareness Day” in 2019 that has now become an annual commemoration for the entire brain tumor and cancer community.
  • Planned and held its first-ever Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill focused on brain cancer in 2018. The briefing was held to educate and engage a bi-partisan gathering of U.S. Senators and. Representatives, national media, and key staffers.
  • Advocated with other groups for a resolution designating an official DIPG Awareness Day in the United States.
  • Helped launch the Brain Tumor Patients Bill of Rights in 2020 with collaborators from the International Brain Tumor Alliance, as well as the Glioblastoma Bill of Rights, led by OurBrainBank, along with a dozen other brain tumor organizations.

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